A pet’s mouth is the portal to their body and good dental hygiene is key to their physical wellbeing. There is a direct relationship between a healthy mouth and the health of critical internal organs such as the heart and kidneys. Having healthy teeth and gums is one of the most important ways to help your pet avoid hidden infections and pain. Pets are masters of disguising these symptoms and taking a proactive approach to oral health care for your pet ensures they don’t suffer in silence from these concerns.
One of the keys to brushing your pet’s teeth is to start early when they are young by establishing a daily routine, ensuring positive rewards during the process, and building on these good habits right from the start! Brushing should start at the gum line working gently towards the tip of the tooth. The most significant amount of dental plaque and tartar develops on the surface of the tooth that rests against the inside of the cheek. Concentrating your efforts in this area of the mouth and leaving the more challenging locations until you are more advanced in your technique is a reasonable plan.
One big hurdle many pet owners struggle with is the idea that the pet’s mouth must be held open during brushing. Thankfully, when the focus is on the outside surface of the tooth, that is really not necessary. Inserting a toothbrush between the lip and the tooth with a gentle brushing action along the gumline is quite straightforward, lifting the lip edge can help to provide visibility and most certainly is more well-tolerated than opening the mouth.
Toothpaste is important, but it is noteworthy to mention that brushing without it has value as well. Fundamentally, toothpaste provides added friction when brushing, improving the ability of your brushing action to grab smaller, deeper plaque particles. Additionally, several types of pet toothpaste contain added ingredients that add lasting benefits to the oral health environment to reduce plaque formation between brushings.
It is important to avoid using human toothpaste when brushing your pet’s teeth. There are many components of human toothpaste that can be irritating and cause an upset stomach if consumed. Additionally, human toothpaste can contain ingredients that are best avoided in our pets, particularly because our pets tend not to follow the directions: “rinse and spit”!
“I don’t think flavor impacts functionality, but it certainly influences a pet’s willingness to participate!”, says Vetster’s Medical Director, Dr. Sarah Machell. So many pets are motivated by food - choose a flavor that your pet loves, and it only works to enhance the positive reward in the process!
More questions about caring for your pet’s dental hygiene? Book an appointment with one of our licensed veterinary professionals today!
If the last year has shown us anything, it's that we've all grown pretty attached to our pets. They've become our trusted sources of comfort and companionship, helping us make sense of the year that was and offering companionship while we've been stuck at home.
By the time summer arrives, we all want to spend as much time outdoors as possible—and that includes your pets. But, like anything, spending time outdoors can be risky business for your furry companions, especially with the increasing populations of ticks across the US. Ticks are tiny bugs that bite and then latch onto humans or animals. These critters pose potential health risks because they carry and can transmit illnesses to their chosen host. Keep reading for tips on how to prevent these troublesome bugs from doing any harm to your beloved fur friends.
Has your dog developed a strange cough? Or have you noticed a general fatigue in your cat that wasn’t there before? When your pet is ill, it isn’t always easy to know or understand what’s got them feeling upset. As the guardian of your pet, you are their voice and even seemingly small symptoms like a drop in appetite can be indicative of a bigger issue - something like heartworm.
Brace yourself, because summer weather is in full swing, and that usually means extremely hot, humid temperatures are a sure thing. While uncomfortable for us, extreme heat events can be life-threatening to your pets. Here are some steps you can take to ensure your pets enjoy summery days as much as you do.
Health concern with your pet?
Start a video chat with a licensed veterinary professional right now on Vetster!